Very much a focus on performance and standards at the moment. It is definitely time to stop using the phrase ‘winter pressures’ – activity remains very high in our Emergency Departments, while the recent increase in elective and suspected cancer referrals is continuing




Launch of our new falls policy


Our new falls policy and bundle have been a key focus for us over the last fortnight. I’ve been working closely with our nursing teams to support the launch of this policy and bundle across the Trust. As you can see from the pics, our senior teams have enjoyed doing some publicity for the launch!

Our senior nursing team demonstrating the red socks


Falls remain the most common clinical incident in hospitals and even if a patient is not injured by a fall, it can increase their stay hospital stay by several days. One of the key initiatives we use for falls prevention here are the non-slip red socks – these made a great focal point and visual aid for our awareness campaign: 

Our Directors modelling the red socks, and a Genesis album cover!


We ran the campaign on the @heartofengland twitter too, you can join in the conversation using the #redsocksrock or #fallsprevention. And yes, if you scroll down you will see I tried the socks too, and very comfortable they are!


Update on the Salmonella outbreak


As I mentioned last time, we have been investigating a Salmonella outbreak at Heartlands. We continue to work with Public Health England to investigate the source, which seems to be in the community though not yet identified. Around 35-40 people have been affected so far

Thankfully, we’ve not had any further cases in the hospital, and our food and water have been checked and given the all clear. There have been further cases reported in our local community, so we have to remain strict with visitors to the hospital to ensure that no food from outside the hospital is being brought in


Next stage is a Root Cause Analysis to understand how we managed the outbreak and to learn any lessons. I’ll continue to keep you updated as we progress with the investigation


Raising concerns


Whistleblowing has been something we have been working to improve for some time now. We encourage our staff to respectfully challenge each other, and we want them to feel they can be open and have conversations about the improvements that are needed for our patients and colleagues

Sir Ian Kennedy visited this week, to review progress some 6 months after his report was released. He met with the breast care team, visited the clinic, met with the patient group, and briefed the Board on his findings. One of his recommendations was that we review our Whistleblowing Policy and we have made good progress with this

Our review has looked at best practice approaches for raising concerns, and at the implications of changes in legislation. Consultation with a number of staff and patient groups, to gain their input on how concerns could best be managed, has helped us improve our whistleblowing policy and the processes around ‘raising concerns’


This is a critical piece of work from a safety perspective, and a topic of wide national interest currently. We are preparing to launch our new policy across the Trust shortly so I will update on this in a future blog


Research and clinical safety


Research remains high on our agenda and in collaboration with the University of Warwick we have recently appointed two new Chairs

Rachael Finn, Professor in Healthcare Safety and Quality Improvement, and Ivo Vlaev, Professor in Behavioural Science and Healthcare, are now on board to work with teams across the Trust to improve both quality and safety

Both researchers will be conducting trials and undertaking projects to understand the challenges which healthcare professionals face on a daily basis. They are also keen to get involved with patient focused work which will involve our patients and service users in research too


This is a very important part of our drive to improve safety and quality across our services, and we welcome our new colleagues who are working at the interface of academia and service delivery


Our journey of improvement


Those who look closely at the diary screenshot at the top of the page will see my week started with a monthly progress review meeting with Monitor. Our letter to Monitor detailing our progress will be in our July Board papers (Chief Executives Report) for the meeting next week, and available here on our website

All of our focus is on performance improvement, and we are delighted to be strengthening our team with two experienced individuals to oversee Operations and Improvement. More details when the appointments are finalised! At the same time our senior medical team is developing at pace and there is a new sense of momentum that we now need to establish in all parts of the organisation


Whilst ‘today’ is challenging, ‘tomorrow’ looks even more so, and like all Foundation Trusts we submit our 5 year plan to Monitor on Monday. I will pick out the highlights of this next time!



Just brushing up on the Falls Policy!





Remember to visit my Health Blog Round Up here – always interesting and updated every week